Chapter 649 An absurd voice!
The auditions continued.
Although they had their differences in opinions, the auditions still had to go on. No doubt, the few judges-including Ha Qiqi-all agreed on and felt that Chang Si performed very well in every aspect and would qualify from here. But with just a disagreeing vote from Zhang Ye, she was eliminated. Everything still had to be done his way since he was the leader of this panel and the executive director of the show. It didn't matter that everyone else thought that Chang Si was good enough if Zhang Ye did not think so.
Zhang Ye said deadpan, "Next."
Teacher Sun was about to speak, but hesitated, then finally swallowed his words.
Next up was the promising second-seeded contestant everyone acknowledged-Hu Liangyi.
This person had been singing for many years and was trained in the performing arts, having graduated from a true music college. He had also appeared in many concerts and television programs, honing his singing along the way as a backup singer to several celebrities. His singing could be described as the real thing and would stand up to the test for sure.
Hu Liangyi stepped up.
Ha Qiqi said, "Alright, you may begin."
Hu Liangyi adjusted the microphone and said, "I'll be singing 'Mountains' for everyone today."
The song was one of the more well-known ones in this world and was considered a fusion of traditional and pop music. It had a bit of bel canto mixed with traditional folk singing styles and would leave the listener in enjoyment. Hu Liangyi's voice was quite good and he could sing very steadily in a well-balanced way without sounding rushed. His voice could go high or low as needed. His performance was done in such a textbook manner, without any flaws they could pick on. It was just too perfect!
The song was over.
Ha Qiqi was very excited.
Teacher Sun, Teacher Yan, and the others also perked up at the performance.
One of the music consultants even gave him a thumbs up and said, "It's so different when it's a person of the performing arts. You sang well..."
Before he could finish his praise, Zhang Ye had already put down Hu Liangyi's CV and remarked, "It's not up to my requirements, please go back."
Still not up to requirements?
Even this was not OK??
Hu Liangyi immediately widened his eyes and asked, "My singing is not good enough?"
Teacher Sun could no longer bear to listen any further. "Director Zhang, if Hu Liangyi and Chang Si's performances are not good enough, then we should just scrap the auditions since no one could do better than them anyway."
Teacher Yan said, "We have all analyzed the strengths of the contestants and these two people are the most outstanding. Even if they might not have the champion's look, they would still be in the top ten of any other singing talent show. Just what are your requirements? Isn't the bar set too high?"
Ha Qiqi frowned and looked at Teacher Yan. She said, "Teacher Yan, whether a contestant can qualify or not will be decided by Director Zhang. If he thinks they can't qualify, then he must have his considerations, so why are you being so outspoken?"
Teacher Yan replied, "But I don't understand the reasons behind his decisions."
Teacher Sun agreed, "I can't understand either. Asking us to come participate and help with the selection, even though we might not be well-known or famous within the industry. We're still industry veterans, so whether someone can sing or not, wouldn't we know? These two contestants are obviously quite good, yet they can't even pass the auditions? I'm not doubting Director Zhang's professionalism, but when it comes to talent shows and singing, we are definitely professional about it."
Zhang Ye looked at them and explained, "First off, my new program is made not in accordance to industry standards, nor does it follow the standards of other talent shows. That is why, when I measure someone's singing to be good or bad, I have a set of my own standards to judge them by. Second, Hu Liangyi's singing is not bad, but his voice is too common and he uses too many types of singing techniques, with some parts being 'rich.' You guys might look at this as singing and onstage performing experience, but in my opinion, there is nothing special about it and no pouring of emotions into the performance. That is why I am not satisfied with the it. Third, you all claim to be professional, but I'm no amateur either. How this program will be done and how the contestants are chosen are all up to me alone. What I need is not an excellent contestant, but someone who is unique and irreproducible by any others!"
Teacher Sun argued, "Voice is too common? This is the first time I'm hearing of anyone using that as a judging standard. What's the point of using the uniqueness of a voice to make a judgement? I don't understand at all. In the end, it still boils down to the singing and onstage performing experience."
Zhang Ye countered, "The name of my program is The Voice of China. Everyone's understanding of a good voice might be different, so I won't force that on anyone. But as I am the executive director, if you guys don't think that my requirements are better than yours and won't respect the principles and decision of my choices, then please, go back now!"
He said those words with a hint of malice!
This was also the first time Zhang Ye was doing a program with such a headstrong attitude. When he was working on his new programs in the past, a lot of objecting and doubting voices constantly came at him. Each time Zhang Ye was hosting or planning a show, he would have to try to talk and persuade his leaders or colleagues, asking them to put their trust in him, convincing them that doing it his way would be for the best and why it would help to attract more viewers. But all that was unnecessary now that he was the leader of the team. He was the executive director, and having been doubted so often in the past, he was already tired and annoyed by it all. He was getting impatient about having to explain himself to others and instead thought, if you all don't respect my decisions? Then I won't give a damn who you, you, you, or you are! Just get the hell out of here!
Wu Yi was extremely nerve-wracked. "Director Zhang!"
Ha Qiqi also tried to smooth things over. "Director Zhang, the teachers were only just suggesting their opinions, this matter..." If they did not have these music consultants, how would they be able to continue with the auditions!
"Fine then, I'll leave." Teacher Sun was so angry he stood up and walked away.
When Teacher Yan saw this, he also felt his dignity had been compromised, so he stood up and left together with Old Sun, but not before leaving some parting words. "Fine, I'll leave too. Since the program doesn't need the opinions of us professionals, it's pointless to stay around here!"
The remaining two music consultants looked at each other, hesitated for a bit, then also left.
They knew they were only suppose to be here for a few days to help the program team of The Voice. But who knew that not only were they not appreciated, even their professional advice was refused. You don't want us to stay? Well then, we don't care either! We would like to see how well the program's viewership ratings turn out after its broadcast! How your so-called The Voice will turn out to be!
Talking about voice uniqueness?
Bullshit! Based on those requirements, it would be a miracle if you could even qualify a contestant!
At this point, all of the music consultants had left the venue in anger and refused to work.
Zhang Ye told Hu Liangyi, "Please go then, I'm sorry."
Hu Liangyi could not accept the results at all and said just before he left, "When The Voice starts broadcasting, I will definitely watch it. I want to know what kind of a person would have passed based on your requirements." In terms of singing, Hu Liangyi was extremely confident of himself. A person like him would surely have some pride in himself.
Zhang Ye did not say a word. He was not against Hu Liangyi at all and knew that his singing was indeed quite good. As to whether Hu Liangyi would become famous in the future or have any developments in the music industry, Zhang Ye didn't know. But he knew there was definitely no spot for Hu Liangyi on the stage of The Voice. That was something he was certain of.
After quite a number of people had left, the venue of the audition became much quieter.
Ha Qiqi laughed bitterly. "Director Zhang, how do we go on from here out?"
But Zhang Ye responded with a smile instead. He replied, "It's just us from the program team left now, but that's also a good thing. Sister Qi, please call the next person in. We will continue with the auditions."
Ha Qiqi didn't know whether to laugh or cry. She could only continue with the auditions.
The next contestant was not good either.
The one after that too.
Zhang Ye was becoming disappointed. How could there not even be a good one?
Ha Qiqi and the others from the program team were also feeling very unsettled. There were so many contestants who sang rather well, but why did Zhang Ye not like them at all? Almost half of the first batch of audition contestants had already left, but not one of them caught Zhang Ye's eyes? Just what kind of a voice would he accept as a good voice?
Ha Qiqi said listlessly, "Next."
Little Wang announced to the outside, "Qian Pingfan."1
Zhang Ye clicked on this contestant's demo and played it.
When Ha Qiqi head it, she said to Zhang Ye, "This girl has a very clear and crisp voice, and it carries a nice, melodious feeling. Overall, I would say it's not bad, but looking at her name, it looks oddly casual. I wonder what her parents were thinking when they gave her this name."
At this moment, the contestant walked into the room.
But when this person appeared in front of those in the room, they were all caught by surprise!
Ha Qiqi asked dumbfounded, "And who might you be?"
It was a young man slightly past 20 who looked very ordinary, with short hair and a sense of style that was incredibly middle of the road. He wore a pair of shoes stained with mud, making him look like a simpleton who had wandered into the room.
The young man look very nervous and stammered, "I, I, am...Qian Pingfan."
Ha Qiqi nearly fainted. "You're a guy?"
Qian Pingfan scratched his head. "Ye-yes."
The song demo Ha Qiqi received only had the candidate's name and contact number filled out. Other than that, they did not have any more details about the person, just like this contestant standing in front of them.
Ha Qiqi was simply in disbelief. She said, "The demo you sent to us was clearly a girl's voice. Do you know that you cannot simply take the place of a candidate and come in here for the auditions?"
Qian Pingfan anxiously replied, "That was sung by me."
TD2 Wu Yi said, "Please go back."
Qian Pingfan was getting very anxious and tried to say, "I, I really..."
"We only request for our contestants to be honest. I don't know who sang in that demo, but from your attitude here today, we clearly see a problem with you already." Ha Qiqi was of course not going to believe that such a clean and crisp female voice had come from a man. Besides, this person was speaking with a very normal voice that belonged to a young man, so how could he be the owner of the voice in the demo?
Qian Pingfan was finding it difficult to explain himself as he continued insisting, "That was really sung by me!"
Ha Qiqi directly said, "Little Wang, call for the next contestant."
But at this moment, a slightly disappointed and dejected Zhang Ye suddenly spoke up, "Wait a moment." Then, he looked at the contestant and said, "Why don't you introduce yourself a little first?"
That person immediately answered, "My name is Qian Pingfan and I'm 22 years old this year. My hometown is in Shanxi but I'm currently living in Beijing. My occupation is...I repair bicycles with my master over at Lishuiqiao Station. We repair bicycles for others over there."
Zhang Ye, seemingly not too interested about his occupation, began adjusting the volume louder for the demo playing on the computer. He pointed and asked, "Are you sure that this was sung by you?"
Qian Pingfan gave a firm nod. "Yes!"
Ha Qiqi doubted, "You must have used voice changing software, right?"
"No, I really didn't!" Qian Pingfan argued.
Zhang Ye was becoming much more interested. He stopped Ha Qiqi and the others from raising any more doubts and told Qian Pingfan, "Alright then, can you sing something for us?"
Seeing this chance, Qian Pingfan was also feeling excited. "Sure, sure. I'm going to sing 'Wishing We Last Forever.'" Perhaps he had the thought that this song would get him into Zhang Ye's good books, but being rather bashful, he could only constantly shake his head in embarrassment, though he did not change his chosen song and determinedly went ahead with this "opportunistic" song. Actually, he had changed it to this song only because he had overheard the other contestants discussing it as a strategy, in hopes that it would increase their chances of passing the audition.
Zhang Ye looked at him. "Begin."
Qian Pingfan took a deep breath and was about to sing, but lost his composure. Holding his chest tightly, he took another deep breath to suppress his nerves before his voice came out.
When the first verse was sung, all of the staff at the audition venue were dumbfounded!
"When will the moon be clear and bright?"
"With a cup of wine in my hand, I ask the clear sky."
"In the heavens on this night,"
"I wonder what season it would be?"
Little Wang's jaw dropped!
Wu Yi also looked like he had seen a ghost!
Ha Qiqi and the others were all staring at the contestant in disbelief!
It was a female voice!
It really was a female voice!
Qian Pingfan sounded quite normal when he spoke, but when he started singing, it somehow turned into an extremely soft and gentle female voice, a voice that could be described as more womanly than a woman's voice!
He did not lie!
The sample sent to them was really sung by him!
It was sung by a man!
If they did not know that the microphone and speaker were untampered, Ha Qiqi would definitely have thought that his voice was going through some voice changing software. Right now, she felt her world had collapsed as she looked at Qian Pingfan's face while listening to his singing voice. She would never have thought that there would be such a person even if she were threatened with death!
Moreover, the key point that also left Ha Qiqi wondering was how she did not find it too shocking. If the contestant did not sing well or did not sing like a woman, or even deliberately imitated a transvestite's type of voice, Ha Qiqi would surely break out in goosebumps and not get used to it. But somehow, this Qian Pingfan's singing was just too womanly, as though his voice had been switched with a real woman's. On top of that, he did not have any sort of expression that made him look like he was forcing the emotions of the song to show. The look and demeanor of a unconfident simpleton earlier had now turned into one of concentration and unembarrassed confidence as he held the microphone and sang. It felt very natural-and perhaps that was why Ha Qiqi did not find it so shocking.
Very quickly, the performance was over.
Qian Pingfan put down the microphone and pulled himself out from the song, becoming a shy guy once more. He would turn his head here and there, touching his nose a little and looking like he did not know where to place his arms and legs.
Ha Qiqi rubbed her forehead and could only muster up, "Oh my god."
Wu Yi gazed at Qian Pingfan like he was a fairy.
Qian Pingfan was getting embarrassed from all the looks he was attracting. "Teachers, if it's not OK, then I have to get going. I came out today secretly and did not inform my master."
Zhang Ye laughed, "Then you better be prepared to go back late today."
Qian Pingfan was taken aback. "Why?"
Zhang Ye answered, "Because you'll need to fill in some forms and we'll have to brief you on the details of the competition rules and what to look out for during the recording of the show."
When those words were said, everyone was astounded!
Zhang Ye looked at him and complimented, "Congratulations! You've passed the audition!"
He finally found one!
This was exactly the type of voice this bro wanted!
1. Qian - Money/Pingfan - Ordinary. This name carries the meaning of being very ordinary in terms of wealth
2. Technical Director